Bad Weather Ends Early Fourth of July Celebrations Even Earlier

The fireworks display went on about half an hour ahead of schedule, forcing the Boston Pops to skip the "1812 Overture." An Esplanade evacuation and a torrential downpour followed shortly after.

boston fourth of july

Photo by Olga Khvan

With the threat of an impending storm, Fourth of July celebrations went on in Boston, with the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular taking place on the Esplanade a day ahead of schedule on Thursday, July 3.

Maestro Keith Lockhart led the Pops in the 41st edition of the annual celebration, which also featured performances by lead principals from The Phantom of the Opera and singer-actress Megan Hilty. In addition to the Pops’ patriotic sing-along, thousands of spectators along the Esplanade also joined in when The Boston Children’s Chorus performed their rendition of Frozen’s “Let It Go” and headliners The Beach Boys took to the Hatch Shell stage.

boston fourth of july

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

boston fourth of july

Thousands gathered on the Esplanade to watch the annual fireworks display over the Charles River. / Photo by Olga Khvan

But at about 10 p.m., officials decided to make another change, and the fireworks exploded over the Charles River half an hour ahead of schedule, forcing the Boston Pops to skip their performance of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” a traditional crowd favorite.

After the elaborate fireworks display, State Police ordered people to evacuate the Esplanade at about 10:30 p.m. Still, people were caught in a torrential downpour as thunderstorms rolled in over Boston at about 10:45 p.m., and officials opened the Boston Common Garage and Hynes Convention Center as shelters for those running for cover.

boston fourth of july

State police ordered an evacuation of the Esplanade at about 10:30 p.m. / Photo by Olga Khvan

boston fourth of july

A torrential downpour began shortly after the fireworks ended. / Photo by Olga Khvan

Before the storm hit, we spent the evening over at the Community Boating boathouse, where their annual SAILabration offered people a riverfront view of the fireworks display: